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top 50 SF books

This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasynovels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club. Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien*
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson (Can I pre-hate this one? No? Fine.)
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley (I swear, I have tried many times. I don't know what's wrong with me.)
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (I read this when I was like 12 and have no memory of it whatsoever.)
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett*
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman (I intend to read this.)
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson (Have a copy, intend to read it.)
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice* (Loved it at the time of reading.)
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley****
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson (Intend to read if for no other reason than to understand all the fuss.)
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks (Seriously? Isn't this considered a sad Tolkein ripoff?)
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer


Sad for my performance on this list, I just don't like science fiction that much. I like science, and I like ficiton, but I don't like science fiction.

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Comments

( 30 comments — Leave a comment )
jwiv
Nov. 15th, 2006 03:06 pm (UTC)
Digging around, it seems that the reason Shannara may be on the list is that epic fantasy had fallen out of favor in the late 70's. Shannara is credited as having reintroduced it into the public mainstream.

tzel
Nov. 15th, 2006 03:08 pm (UTC)
The Sword of Shannara? I mean, the only good thing about that is that there's a big sacrifice in the end and the hero doesn't get the girl.
snidegrrl
Nov. 15th, 2006 03:55 pm (UTC)
I can't remember thing one about it. I also read that when I was like 10.
(no subject) - mountainwitch - Nov. 16th, 2006 02:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tzel - Nov. 16th, 2006 01:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
salami_salome
Nov. 15th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)
I like a few books that happen to be sci-fi, but I don't seek it out as a genre.
Moreover, why is A Handmaid's Tale not on this list? Granted, it's more dystopian that straight sci-fi, but as this list includes Anne Rice and J.K. Rowling, I don't think it's using such strict criteria.
snidegrrl
Nov. 15th, 2006 03:56 pm (UTC)
Apparently it may not be significant.

HA!!
(no subject) - traceracer - Nov. 15th, 2006 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mountainwitch - Nov. 16th, 2006 02:06 am (UTC) - Expand
lilmymble
Nov. 15th, 2006 03:33 pm (UTC)
I was about to complain about the quality of the list, but then I realized they are only supposed to be "significant" and not necessarily "Good".
maroonmd
Nov. 15th, 2006 03:51 pm (UTC)
I'm also not a fan... very surprised I've read so many!

5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice (Anne Rice is Sci-Fi??? Also, I hate her writing style, even when I like the story.)
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein (not good!)
(Also, I've liked Isaac Asimov in the past, I just haven't read any of these)
angela_la_la
Nov. 15th, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
Out of curiosity, may I ask why you pre-hate the Gibson?
snidegrrl
Nov. 15th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
I hate cyber-whatever-bullshit. I suppose by calling it bullshit I am showing my bias. I loathe, personally, plots or concepts that revolve around technology taking over people, or people inserting themseleves into computers, or computers being inserted into people, or people jacking in, or... I hope that sort of explains it. From what I understand that's what that book is about. Add to that that I hate dystopian books/movies most of the time, and you have a recipe for disaster. I already agreed to read John Steakley's Armor someday, as well as Snow Crash, but this one I feel confident I won't be proven wrong about.

As to why I hate that stuff? Or should I say have a distinct distaste for? I think that's a much longer, meandering comment. Maybe a post.
(no subject) - angela_la_la - Nov. 15th, 2006 04:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rakin - Nov. 15th, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mikailborg - Nov. 15th, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - judithiscariot - Nov. 15th, 2006 06:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mikailborg - Nov. 15th, 2006 06:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mikailborg - Nov. 15th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - angela_la_la - Nov. 15th, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rshackleford - Nov. 15th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - leenacia - Nov. 15th, 2006 06:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - snidegrrl - Nov. 17th, 2006 07:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
schpahky
Nov. 15th, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
I too have attempted Mists of Avalon several times to no avail. I only keep it out of guilt.
snidegrrl
Nov. 15th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
Same here!!! I have a copy on my shelves right now.
(no subject) - angela_la_la - Nov. 15th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
judithiscariot
Nov. 15th, 2006 04:29 pm (UTC)
oh my god Ringworld was a piece of crap
judithiscariot
Nov. 15th, 2006 04:32 pm (UTC)
also, amusing: i've read the first six but it goes downhill from there. let me state for the record that i also hated stranger in a strange land.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
rshackleford
Nov. 15th, 2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
Childhood's End, over 2001? What the hey, Science Fiction Book Club.
y2kdragon
Nov. 15th, 2006 08:11 pm (UTC)
And Harry Potter over Hitchhikers? Must have been put together by people who didn't graduate college until after 1997.
( 30 comments — Leave a comment )

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